Dairy free chocolate chip ice cream (photos by Hayley Votolato)

The Dairy Free Diaries: Chocolate Chip Ice Cream with Caramel Syrup

Here's a sweet treat for all you lactose-intolerants. I sympathize.

It seems like everyone is becoming diary-free, gluten-free, and everything else that sounds remotely healthy. Is it a trend? Will it fade? Who knows. I, for one, have recently become lactose-intolerant. But before I mourned my dairy days, I decided to adjust old, familiar recipes to match my needs. Slowly, I’ve succumbed to my body’s peer pressure and have made a few dairy and gluten-free recipes lately.

I wanted to start off this series with the most original flavor: chocolate chip. (I had to add a twist, though. Cue the vegan caramel syrup.) This recipe, derived from Minimalist Baker, is made with coconut milk which makes the recipe not as heavy as normal ice cream flavors are typically. If you are looking for a light, sweet snack that won’t leave you feeling gross before you hit the sheets, then this recipe is exactly that.

Hard to resist, I know.
Hard to resist, I know.


Two 13.5-ounce cans full fat coconut milk (roughly 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 to 3/4 cup raw sugar, depending on preferred sweetness
1 tsp quality vanilla extract
1 pinch xanthan gum (optional)
2 ounces quality non-dairy dark chocolate (I used Taza brand, 70% dark chocolate)

1. Add coconut milk to a saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar, while bringing it to a simmer. Whisk for 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Remove mixture from heat and stir in vanilla and a pinch of xanthan gum.Whisk to combine.

3. Transfer mixture to a glass bowl and keep in refrigerator until fully cooled.

4. Once the mixture is fully chilled, put the mixture into the ice-cream machine  and follow directions according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. While the ice cream is spinning and looks almost finished, add chocolate (I cut mine into tiny pieces) and caramel syrup (see below for instructions).

6. Put in the freezer overnight to harden.

Almost there.
Almost there.


2 c. coconut milk (full fat)
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt (optional)

1. Whisk the coconut milk and sugar in a saucepan.

2. Bring to a boil and put temperature on high, once boiling, reduce to a simmer for 30-35 minutes

3. Turn off heat and add in vanilla and salt.

Note: The color doesn’t turn a beautiful caramel-looking color. It may be a little bland-looking, but by no means is the taste compromised.

A cup of beauty.
A cup of beauty.

Hayley Votolato is a D Magazine intern, and aspiring food and travel editor. She will be graduating from Texas Christian University with a degree in Strategic Communication from the Schieffer College of Communication this May.